The Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as Way of Sorrows or Via Crucis, refers to a series of images. The images depict Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers. Therefore, the object of the stations is to help the Christian faithful make a spiritual pilgrimage through meditation of the Passion of Christ. It has become one of the most popular devotions. The stations exist in most Western Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist churches.
Parishioners of The Church of the Apostles will begin thinking of Jesus’ last hours at 12-noon on Good Friday. The devoted accomplish this by reading, praying and meditating about the scenes from Jesus’ last day – from condemnation to burial. A brief mediation — properly offered at each station — along with solemn music provides a spirit of reparation for the sufferings that Jesus endured during his passion.
The Way of the Cross, also known as the Stations of the Cross, provides a path or process to pray and meditate on Christ’s sacrifice for us. The Stations of the Cross are divided into fourteen stations — from the time of condemnation to his burial.
The devotion, highly recommended by the Church & developed during the Crusades when the knights and pilgrims began to follow the route of Christ’s way to Calvary, spread throughout Europe and encouraged by the Franciscan friars in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Eventually, the Stations of the Cross became an important catechetical tool. The popularity of this devotion inspired some of the greatest examples of medieval Christian art. Some scholars believe that medieval miracle plays, which were essentially tableaux of Christ’s life, developed from the sculptured representations of the Stations of the Cross in the great Churches. Hence, these scenes from the Way of the Cross have provided inspiration for many of the world’s greatest works of visual art.
The Fourteen Stations:
First Station – Jesus becomes condemned to Death
Second Station – Jesus carries His Cross
Third Station – Jesus falls the first time under His Cross
Fourth Station – Jesus meets His Mother
Fifth Station – Simon the Cyrene helps Jesus carry His Cross
Sixth Station – Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Seventh Station – Jesus falls the second time
Eighth Station – Jesus speaks to the daughters of Jerusalem
Ninth Station – Jesus falls the third time
Tenth Station – Jesus becomes stripped of His garments
Eleventh Station – Jesus becomes nailed to the Cross
Twelfth Station – Jesus dies on the Cross
Thirteenth Station – Jesus is taken down from the Cross
Fourteenth Station – Jesus becomes buried in the tomb